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I am the teen services librarian in a public library, not school library.

Since September, I have been offering a weekly after-school program each Thursday. 
There are two sessions, 2:30 to 4:30 and then 5 to 7.

The kids come in, play X box 360, watch Anime, play board games. chat, read 
magazines; they can even bring snacks.  

The register on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of each week to come that Thursday, 
although some kids have become permanently registered by virtue of having their 
moms contact me.  Some who register do not show up.  The kids who do tend to be 
regulars.  Also, they come and go.  So, although I may only have a half dozen in 
the room at one time, I do tend to get about 15 over the course of the 4 hours.

Anyway, a co-worker is questioning the "value" of this program as when she "pokes 
her head in," she sees so few kids in it.  The value, as I see it is entertainment 
and social for these kids.  I am not discomfiting the library in any way.  I have 
not heard any complaints.  In fact, they say that getting some kids out of the 
library and into the public meeting room where it is held has helped the noise 
level somewhat on Thursdays (we are next door to the high school).

I now have to defend this program as it related to the library's mission, as to how 
it relates to the library.

Well, we buy tons and tons of triple crown books.  Nobody would call this filth 
"good literature."  Pure prurient entertainment reading.

The co-worker who is complaining has a knitting group.

About a half dozen elderly women who show up to engage in an activity that is 
enjoyable to them.

My program is about a dozen teens who show up to engage in an activity that is 
enjoyable to them.

What's the difference?  

DawnMarie Sardes
Y A Services Librarian
Cleveland, OH

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